Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Book Two
Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a fun way to learn about new books coming out and what folks are looking forward to. This week I'm anxiously awaiting a sequel...Squeee!!!....It's Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. Here's the description...

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

This doesn't tell us much, especially if you haven't read the first book, so let's look at the description of that...

Book One
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Oooh...I see the new title is taken from the first book's description! I can't wait for the follow up! This story is creepy, beautiful, romantic, lyrical...need I go on? Lol...I gave the first one away to some friends as gifts and they loved it too. Has anyone else started this series?
Days of Blood and Starlight releases November 6, 2012 by Little, Brown and Company.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Battleship: great Memorial Day movie!

When I saw the previews for Battleship, it looked pretty good, so I was looking forward to seeing it. Then I read the review in my local newspaper. It got zero stars. Zero! I've never heard of such a thing. Maybe one star, but zero?!  I was almost influenced by this review and considered skipping the movie, but I couldn't shake my impression of it. It looked pretty entertaining in the previews. I decided to give it a chance and check it out.

I'll admit, the first 25 minutes or so was kind of boring and a little crazy, but I think this is because I was all stoked to see the aliens and I was waiting for them to show up. The movie is about 2 hours long. After that first 20-25 minutes, it was non-stop action and suspense. I couldn't  have asked for better! It left me breathless trying to figure out what was going to happen next and how it would end. I even understood the beginning better and why it played out the way it did. It showed the transformation of that main character and how he changed by the end.

One of the characters is a real war veteran in real life that is severely impaired. I was wondering if he was an actor or not. Then I saw him in an interview on CNN and it confirmed my suspicions. He was shocked to be selected to star in the movie and he had a nice juicy role. I was really happy for him. He's the guy with the artificial legs. You won't be able to miss him. And he was so good. I've heard that they used a lot of real military people in the film and there were even WW2 vets in it. Awesome.

Battleship won't win any Oscars, but it's a good action movie that is thoroughly entertaining for a day out. I don't want to give out too many details, because you should see the story unfold for yourself.

And if there's a lesson to be learned? Don't go sending out satellite messages to planets that look like they can sustain life. Those life forms don't know we exist and if you let them know we do and they come for a visit, we may get more than we bargained for!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Mirage by Kristi Cook

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's where you learn what other prolific readers are eagerly anticipating. This week I've chosen Mirage by Kristi Cook. It's the sequel to Haven and the second book in the Winterhaven series. Check out what it's about...

Book Two
Danger looms large in the sequel to Haven, which Booklist called 'a blend of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Twilight saga, and Lois Duncan's thrillers.'

Violet McKenna is back for her senior year at Winterhaven and thrilled to be with Aidan after a long summer apart. But while their love for each other is as strong as ever, their troubles are far from over.

News of a rogue vampire on a killing spree sets everyone on edge. While Aidan is determined to stop the killer, Violet is chilled by a horrifying vision she simply must prevent...for if she can't, two people she loves will meet a violent end.

In the midst of Violet's fear, a mysterious newcomer enters her life - and he has some vital information not just about her past, but about her future as well. Now everything Violet held as truth is upended, and she is left not knowing whom to trust, if she is in danger, and - worst of all - whether she and Aidan are really meant to be together.

While it may not be clear here, Aiden is a vampire, Violet is a vampire slayer and her destiny is to destroy him. Now, you may be thinking that vampires are past their prime in the world of storytelling, but I'm telling you, this novel is so good! There are some very original elements in this story. I was quite surprised. The author took the whole vampire thing and made it fresh and original. The cover of either of these books don't do the series justice, in my opinion. You have no clue what the story is about by looking at them.

The only problem with these trilogies is that they usually come out a year apart. I read the first book, Haven, in February 2011 and I've forgotten a lot of the really cool particulars...*sigh*....I just know I loved it and need to get up to speed with the story.

Has anyone else read this series?

Mirage releases June 05, 2012 by Simon Pulse.


Book One

Monday, May 21, 2012

And the two winners of a signed copy of Fated are...

Hi girls,

Thanks for dropping in and letting me know which books you've read of Alyson Noel. The winners of the giveaway of a signed copy of her latest, Fated, are...

Leona!!! and...

Courtney of Stiletto Storytime!!!

Please email me with your addresses so I can pass it on to the publicist. The winners were chosen randomly using If I don't hear from the winners in 72 hours, others will be chosen in their place.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Giveaway: Two winners will get a signed copy of Fated by New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noel, the first book in her new series!

Book One of the Soul Seekers series

Alyson Noel is at it again. Fated is the first book in the new Soul Seekers series. Let's see what it's about:

So here's the deal ...
Strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, glowing people appear from nowhere. Worried that Daire's having a breakdown, her mother sends her to stay with the grandmother she's never met, who lives on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico. There Daire crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes.

Her grandmother recognizes Daire's episodes for what they are - a call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, a person who can navigate between the living and the dead. Guided by her grandmother, Daire must be quick to learn how to harness her powers because Dace's brother is an evil shape-shifter, out to steal them.

Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and discover if Dace is the guy she's meant to be with . . . or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

If you'd like a chance to win a signed copy of Fated, leave a comment and tell me if you've read any other book by Alyson Noel and the name of it. It's okay if you haven't read any. Just say so. Don't forget to include your email, so you can be contacted if you're one of the two winners. That is all.

The giveaway ends Monday, May 21, 2012. At publicist's request, the giveaway is open to residents of the US, only. My thanks to Deb and the publisher for making this giveaway possible.

Fated will be released May 22, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Book One
Waiting on Wednesday is the great meme that gives you an opportunity to learn what new books are coming out and what folks are looking forward to. It was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This week, I've chosen The Diviners by Libba Bray. Check out the description...

It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before. For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be. But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone. Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first.

I've been looking forward to this book since I read about Bray getting the book deal a couple of years ago. If I remember correctly, she was paid about a million dollars for it. I want to see what kind of story generated this big pay day! I recall the write-up at the time saying there were serial killers and demons in the story. Bray's literary agent is her husband, Barry Goldblatt. Looks like his got his wife's best interest at

If I weren't familiar with the author or the story premise, I would not be drawn to this book if I had to go by this cover. I don't care for it at all. Maybe they'll change it by publication day. I know you can't judge a book by it's cover, but a great one certainly adds to the reading experience!

The Diviners is supposed to be released September 2012 by Little, Brown and Company.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Dark Shadows: A very cool blast from the past...

I went to see Dark Shadows over the weekend. I went out of a sense of nostalgia. I was a little kid in elementary school when the original TV series was on. I'd race home to see it and it scared the daylights out of me! I could barely sleep at night: vampires, witches, werewolves....whew! Nevertheless, I went back for another round the next day. It was a Gothic soap opera, after

At first, I wasn't going to see this movie because I figured it would be some silly, foolishness and I'm not drawn to many comedies. I changed my mind when I learned the original vampire, Barnabas, from the TV show was making a cameo and I wanted to see him for old times sake.

Let me say, I LOVED this movie! It was funny, a little scary and so beautifully atmospheric. Tim Burton, the director and Johnny Depp, know their stuff. I'm such a fan of Chloe Grace Moretz.  She plays the 15 year-old Carolyn Stoddard. I've liked her ever since watching her play a preteen vampire in Let Me In. That was such an underrated film. It didn't get nearly the attention it should have in my opinion. You can check out my review of it on this blog. It came out in 2010.                     

The crazy part of this is, I went to see Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas, then forgot to look for him in the party scene! I read in the credits that David Selby, the original werewolf from the TV show was in the same scene. Agh!! I'll have to see it again and pay close attention this time. I was so focused on all the goings-on in the film, I totally forgot.

The way it ended, it looks like there's going to be a sequel. I can't wait! Anyway, I highly recommend Dark Shadows for a very cool, very fun afternoon or evening of movie-going.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Release Day! Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Pretty Amy is the debut novel of Lisa Burstein. It follows the saga of Amy Fleishman, age seventeen, and opens on what is one of the most significant days of her life: the senior prom. It becomes significant for more ways than one. Amy is a insecure girl who depends on her more popular friends, Lila and Cassie to validate her, make her feel she’s worth something, that she’s even alive. When the girls get stood up for the prom, they make a woeful decision that leads to them getting arrested and facing real jail time. It’s a life-defining moment that ultimately forces Amy to explore and confront who she is and who she wants to be.
Lisa Burstein dares to write a young adult story with a female protagonist that minimizes the romance and gives major focus to the character’s focus on finding herself and understanding who that self is. It’s a true coming-of-age story. Amy is a real character, real in all her flaws and often maddening decisions. Adults will want to scream at her for the choices she makes and young people may see themselves doing the same things and realizing how foolish it is—now that it’s someone else.
The author successfully creates a character that displays the desires and the even greater fears and confusion of a teenager, those crazy moments when they’re a mass of confusion and hormones and whatever else happens to meander by.
Amy often has a keen sense of the adults around her. There’s a lot of wonderful snark that will make you laugh out loud. This is the first time I'm including quotes, but these  gave me a good chuckle. Check it out:
"You could at least be grateful this whole prayer circle is for you," Conner said between bites of his sandwich.
"I'm Jewish, Conner," I reminded him again, in case he'd forgotten.
"Well, he said, wiping his mouth, "look where that has gotten you." 
My mother, who was an image Jew, which is a Jew who only cares as much about her Judaism as the person she is trying to prove it to, was sending me to the feet of Jesus for help. She must truly have run out of options.
Ya gotta love it :-)
Pretty Amy makes a great selection for the school market. It’s a story that allows young people to debate the actions and motivations of the characters. It opens up questions on a number of levels that they can delve into and learn about themselves in the process.

Happy Release Day! Until I Die (Book Two in Revenants trilogy) by Amy Plum

Book Two
Until I Die is the second book in the Revenants trilogy by Amy Plum.  Revenants are zombie-like creatures, but not the flesh-falling-off-bone type. They’re hot, sexy and just what Kate, our seventeen-year-old protagonist needs to come alive again after the untimely death of her parents. When Kate meets Vincent and discovers what he is, they forge an unlikely romance. In book two, they are committed to being a couple and Vincent makes a pledge to do whatever it takes to spare Kate pain, the pain of having to experience him dying, over and over again.
What Kate didn’t count on, is a new enemy making an appearance. It’s hard enough coming to terms with her beau having to die again and again to save the life of the innocent, but Vincent’s loss of immortality and his total destruction, is beyond what Kate could imagine.
The sequel starts off rather slowly. I did wonder if book two could live up to excitement of the debut. Not to worry. Amy Plum soon draws you into an exciting story. There are questions that begged to be answered—like who is infiltrating the revenant camp and sabotaging them. The reader’s mind will race with the possibilities.
Though, this is a paranormal romance, Until I Die, often reads as a mystery. The romance is the foundation of the story, but it doesn’t overwhelm the book. Plum carefully weaves an action plot interspersed with the mystery element that drives the narrative forward; the romance is ever present and simmering in the background.
Amy Plum does a good job of characterization. Each of the characters has a distinctive voice and personality, some of which will leave you heaving with laughter, particularly Kate’s sister, Georgia.
This sequel does not disappoint. Until I Die is exciting and even more action-packed than the first book. It ends on a cliffhanger that compels you to pick up book three to learn how it’s all resolved.
Until I Die released today, May 8, 2012 by Harper Teen